The Renewable Electricity Promotion Act would require U.S. to get 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2021
A bipartisan group of senators--Bingaman (D-NM), Brownback (R-KS), Dorgan (D-ND), Collins (R-ME), Udall (D-NM), and Udall (D-CO)--introduced a 15% by 2021 renewable electricity standard (RES) bill into the Senate. The standalone Renewable Electricity Promotion Act would open the door for us to move a national RES into law this year. For this RES-only bill to move forward, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will need to allow this bill to come up for a floor vote, and at least 60 Senators will need to vote in favor of it.
"China and many other countries are using every tool at their disposal to lead in clean energy manufacturing including strong renewable energy targets," said Denise Bode, American Wind Energy Association CEO, in a recent statement. "The US has an opportunity right now to stay in the game by passing an RES–one of the very few policies that has bipartisan support in Congress," added Bode.
Despite trepidation from some energy policy pundits that "enacting major environmental legislation after an expected bloodbath in the midterm elections" (see last comment on this post) is either dangerous or a fool's errand (or both), I would argue that passing a relatively innocuous bill that has support from both sides of the aisle--either before or after Congress breaks for mid-term elections--would be an important step to provide long-term investment security for the lagging renewable energy industry. Long-term security at a time when our domestic economy needs all the support and encouragement it can get.